Personnel Support Detachment holds change of command at Battleship Memorial

Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds presents Cmdr. Kyle J. Vernon with the Meritorious Service Medal during a change of command ceremony held April 25 at Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds presents Cmdr. Kyle J. Vernon with the Meritorious Service Medal during a change of command ceremony held April 25 at Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

Lt. Cmdr. Martin F. Fajardo relieved Cmdr. Kyle J. Vernon as commanding officer of Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) Pearl Harbor during a change of command ceremony held April 25 at Battleship Missouri Memorial.

The ceremony’s guest speaker was Rear Adm. Frank L. Ponds, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. Ponds praised PSD’s “outstanding customer service” and read “testimonials from customers who walked through the doors of PSD and left not just satisfied but gratified.”

“Cmdr. Vernon is one of if not the most competent officers in command of a PSD attachment I’ve seen in my 28 years of service,” Ponds said. “She made PSD Hawaii the pride of the waterfront, the envy of other commands, and a model for other PSDs.”

Vernon addressed some of the difficulties her command has faced recently.

“We used to have 40 active duty military personnel at PSD,” she said. “Now we have five.”

Still, PSD has managed to overcome these challenges.

“Day in day out, year in year out, we have provided the best customer service of any activity I’ve been associated with on either side of the counter,” she said.

Vernon especially praised her staff.

“The greatest reward was coming in every morning and seeing people happy and eager to work,” she said. “In 30 years of service, this is the most enjoyable tour I’ve ever had.”

Vernon, a native of New York, joined the Navy in September 1983. In January 2010, she reported to Navy Operational Support Center Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and earned her professional human resource certification in June of that year. She reported in August 2010 as officer in charge Personnel Support Detach-ment Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During her tenure, she earned her joint professional military education certification and was promoted to commander.

Her personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (fifth award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (fifth award), Navy Good Conduct Medal (third award) and numerous other personal and unit awards. She is also involved in the Joint Venture Education Forum and volunteers at Pearl Harbor Elementary School.

As Fajardo assumed command from Vernon, he said, “Thank you for leaving me your wonderful ohana.”

He enlisted in the Navy at the Houston, Texas Military Entrance Processing Station in 1991. He completed boot camp at Recruit Training Command at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., Hospital Corpsman “A” School at Naval Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, Ill., and Neuropsychiatric Technician “C” School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. His initial assignment was as a psychiatric technician at Naval Hospital Philadelphia, Pa.

In March 2003, Fajardo reported to Officer Development School in Newport, R.I. Upon completion, his first officer assignment was Naval Hospital Charleston, S.C. where he served as the family practice business manager and operations management officer.

Prior to arriving at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, he was assigned to Millington, Tenn. where he served with the Navy Manpower Analysis Center, code 40 afloat requirements department as the production officer and manpower analyst.

Fajardo’s personal awards include Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (fourth award), Air Force Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (fourth award) and numerous unit and service medals and ribbons.

The mission of Personnel Support Detachment Pearl Harbor is to provide high quality service to substantially diverse customer clientele in the areas of pay, personnel and transportation.

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Category: News